We all know the holidays are a great time to create fun family memories. So, why not make these memories meaningful by adding a little service in the mix?.
Party, holiday and ideas contributor Alisa Bangerter stopped by Mormon Times to share some ideas on how to do this.
She divided ideas for service into four categories:
<u>Make it Meaningful</u>
- Plant a tree in memory of someone
- Organize a tree decorating service for the elderly and help them take it down as well
- Make thankful bags for the homeless (fill with toiletries, snacks, warm socks, a note of encouragement, etc. and hand them to homeless people on the corners as you drive by - keep them in your car)
- Smile or say hi to someone new every day
- Send thank you card to someone from your past
<u>Make it Fun</u>
- Set up a hot chocolate stand and donate profits
- Family competition or food Scavenger hunt
- Birthday bags for homeless shelters
- Leaf raking contest
<u>Make it a Tradition</u>
- Adopt a missionary that has little family support
- Decorate a room of someone in a care facility
- Have a special annual holiday party
- Hold a cookie making night where you invite a group of children to learn to make several types of holiday cookies or deliver holiday cookies as a family night treat each Monday to a different family.
- Invite a different family to come over each year to make gingerbread houses and provide all the items. You could also arrange to go to a homeless shelter and help children do these.
- Decorate a room of someone in a care facility for the holidays. Many times they have no décor at all and a little holiday décor can add so much holiday spirit.
- Adopt a missionary that has little family support or never receives mail or packages. Send a holiday package and letters of support, etc.
- Help serve at a soup kitchen the Thanksgiving meal.
- Thanksgiving letters of gratitude to military or missionaries
<u>Make it Anonymous</u>
- Leave a "nice décor award" card at a home that has Christmas decorations you love.
- Leave an anonymous birthday gift for someone who could use a surprise.
- Choose a family in December and do the 12 days of Christmas or a week in November and leave small Thanksgiving treats and a different reason you are thankful for them.
- Random acts (buy a gift card, something holiday related or something nice and then have the cashier give it to the person in line behind you at the grocery store. Or randomly pay for someone check at a restaurant, etc.)
- Leave a small Christmas tree on a doorstep with gifts/ canned food underneath it.
- Leave a gift card under some ones windshield wipers (in an envelope) randomly in a parking lot.